PROFILES

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There is a lot going on in Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis' new movie — which is why, over two years after filming Colossal, the actors are still having a tricky time nailing down exactly what it's about. Hathaway plays Gloria, a hard-partying writer who moves back to her hometown after losing her job and boyfriend (Dan Stevens). She spends her time getting sloshed at childhood friend Oscar's (Sudeikis) bar. And then shit gets weird when Gloria realizes she has something to do with the gigantic Kaiju monster she sees on the news attacking Seoul, South Korea. Really weird.

With its bizarre premise and unpredictable screenplay (from Spanish writer-director Nacho Vigilando), Colossal is a thrillingly original ride. It's also a wonky vehicle for discussions about everything from toxic masculinity and sexism to alcoholism and self-destructive demons: a philosophical stoner's dream.

While the movie itself is, in one obvious way, completely absurd, it never spins out into the stratosphere of ridiculousness, thanks to the thoroughly believable performances from Hathaway and Sudeikis. They are by turns charming and repulsive, brave and vulnerable. So we sat down with the pair to talk about the gospel of Kristen Stewart, what it actually means for a film to be "feminist," and the unintentionally brilliant ways their new movie reflects what's going on in the world right now...

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It's a sticky August day in the East Village and Natasha Lyonne is toying with the existential terror of procreation. This is partly because we're talking about her new movie, Antibirth, and partly because Lyonne, 37, has fought tooth-and-nail to get to the place of relative calm she's at now. "I had a fucked-up childhood. It was not a great example," she says between sips of iced coffee. “By the skin of my teeth I survived to be, like, a high-functioning, semi-well-adjusted and happening adult. And now you want to fucking saddle me with a kid?"

Antibirth (released on September 2) is the twisted new sci-fi-horror flick that the actress both produced and stars in, alongside best friend Chloë Sevigny. (Director Danny Perez, a longtime friend of both women, wrote the parts specifically for them.) Lyonne plays Loua Midwestern junkie who could not give fewer fucks; Sevigny plays her BFF. Lou wakes up after a black-out night of hard-partying to figure out she's pregnant with, well, something. And at first, she's comically complacent about the fact that there’s a definitely-not-human thing growing inside her. “She’s just like, ‘Aw shit. Now I gotta fucking deal with this? Like, I just wanted to sit here and take bong hits,'” laughs Lyonne. “Next thing you know, I’m caught up in this fucking interplanetary mission, and the thing is stuck in my body”...

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A couple of years ago, Asia Kate Dillon started removing the feminine pronouns from their online press material, replacing “she,” “her,” and “hers” with simply their name. “That felt really good,” Dillon recalls. But it wasn’t until a couple of years later, when Dillon was prepping to audition for Showtime drama Billions season 2, that they found the language to explain why that move felt so damn right.

The role Dillon read for (and ultimately got) is that of Taylor, an exceptionally brilliant intern at Axe Capital, the hedge fund firm run by Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis). What sets Taylor apart from their fellow financial analysts at first glance is the fact that they identify as gender non-binary, meaning they experience and express their gender identity outside of our heteronormative denominations of man or woman — a simplistic rigidity only underscored by Axe Capital's hyper-masculine office culture. And when Dillon first read Taylor’s character description, they had the uncanny sensation that they were reading about themselves.

“I did some research into non-binary, and I just thought ‘Oh my gosh,’ like, ‘that’s me...that’s who I am,’” Dillon tells me over the phone, a few days before the Billions season 2 premiere. “It’s interesting how labels can really box us in, but they can also be very freeing," they explain, "because they can help someone identify and put a word to something that they couldn’t put words to before”...

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Most young actresses work for years trying to break into Hollywood by way of L.A. casting couches. Sasha Lane was dancing with the sand between her toes, on spring break in Panama Beach, when her big break arrived. In a sea of Solo cups and string bikinis, director Andrea Arnold saw Lane — her expressive doe eyes, her easy verve — and found the star she didn't quite know she was looking for. One year later, Lane was dancing again — this time, on the red carpet at Cannes.

It’s exactly that kind of organic spontaneity — being open to meeting a perfect stranger on a beach — that made Lane the perfect person to lead American Honey, a sprawling, 162-minute cinéma vérité-inspired masterpiece in the guise of a road-trip movie. The film isn't really a coming-of-age tale either, but it has the bittersweet tinge of one. Except its subjects aren't the rich, white suburban kids whose stories we've heard time and time again. They're a motley crew of transient teens and 20-somethings who travel by van selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door by day and party hard by night, and Lane's character, Star, latches on to them. Ambling through the flyover states, we get gritty closeups of the parts of America that Hollywood glosses over — motel rooms, Kmart parking lots, oil fields and truck stops. But we also see scenes of overwhelming beauty that celebrate life. Call it 2016 Americana...

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Kiersey Clemons is making a faux-moss merkin when she runs into a minor snag. "Oh no," she says mid-sentence during our phone chat. "I just, like, glued my fingers together, hold on!" The 22-year-old actress is dabbling with a casually subversive art project while we talk before the premiere of Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising later that night. "I painted a woman’s body, and I have this stuff that looks like moss. I’m putting it where her vagina is," she explains. Or, as Clemons puts it, she's "just chilling"...

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The mid-2000s were some pretty damn good years for Dane Cook. In ’06, the Comedy Central alum’s Retaliation became the bestselling comedy album in 28 years, going platinum; Rolling Stone named him Hot Comic of the Year. Cook was the comic messiah of frat boys.

Then in late ’07—the same year Cook became the second comedian ever to sell out at Madison Square Garden—the tides began to turn against him, as they often do. Of course, Cook always had detractors—but at some point, the loathing reached critical mass, tipping the scales of public consensus. Dane Cook-fatigue set in. Accusations of stealing jokes from the likes of Joe Rogan and Louis C.K. were hurled, and an ugly blitz of online haters ensued...

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JOHN DENMORE & SHEPARD FAIREY

Tucked somewhere in the back of most of our minds is a discomforting cognizance of our country’s ugly history of mistreating Native Americans. But come Thanksgiving Day—and the corollary consumerism circus that is Black Friday—we tend not to dwell on that reality. So for Record Store Day this year, artist-advocates John Densmore, drummer of The Doors, and Shepard Fairey, the iconoclastic artist, teamed up for a creative effort to rouse the country’s collective conscience—and shine light on a movement to uplift the indigenous community. The result of their collaborative vision is Ghost Song...

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2016 might finally be the year Zoey Deutch can convince her friends that she does, in fact, work for a living. The actress has been out of town filming on location nonstop for the past two-and-a-half years, but her best friends in Los Angeles were starting to wonder if she was fabricating the whole acting career thing.  "I literally had to sit down with a couple of my friends who thought I was ignoring them," says Deutch, 21. "They’re like, ‘Well, where are these things that you’re working on? Nothing of yours has come out. Are you lying to us? Are you disappearing into the dark of night and not calling us back?’" She continues, "And now they’re like, 'Oh, now we get it! It’s all coming out right now.'"...

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Zoe Saldana knows how to play ass-kicking, universe-saving, unusually colorful heroes like Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy, Neytiri in Avatar, and Uhura in Star Trek. But for her new AOL web series, Saldana turned the camera on everyday people who play the role of the hero...

In My Hero, which debuted yesterday, Saldana and some of her fellow celebrities—including Julianne Hough, Nick Cannon and Maria Menounos—pay tribute to the people they cherish via short, touching vignettes. “People are generally very grateful to the people around them that keep them together, that supported them, that encouraged them to become what they are as artists,” the actress says. “So we thought, what a great opportunity to do a show about this and send a very positive message out there. Because I find it hard to believe that anybody makes it on their own. There’s always somebody that helped you in some way"...

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When Aubrey “Po” Powell and Storm Thorgerson designed their first album cover back in 1968, they weren’t planning on redefining the industry—they just wanted to create a cover for their flatmates’ first album that wasn’t utterly boring. (Album covers those days mainly consisted of text and, maybe, a straightforward picture of the band members.) But Powell and Thorgerson’s friends became rock stars by the name of Pink Floyd—and they themselves became Hipgnosis, the visionary design collective behind the most iconic album covers of the late ’60s, ’70s, and early ’80s. AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Police, Genesis, The Who and Paul McCartney are just a few of the artists they worked with...

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